Last month, a report
showed that a lack of investment in skilling learners had caused the UK to fall behind its European competitors in most of the OECD in four key measures, including digital literacy and employee training.
Now, a new campaign is taking shape to address Britain’s staff training and development gap.
The move follows more recent research which shows a lack L&D across small and medium-sized enterprise employers (SMEs) in Wales.
The study – undertaken as part of the Welsh Government’s Age of Investment campaign – showed that almost 40% of these organisations do not provide staff with any training or development or only offer statutory training and induction courses that are linked to employees' existing roles.
Of the employers that offer training in addition to statutory or induction courses, 73% offer health and safety training for their staff. However, just 42% offer training in new technology, which is seen as important to 21st century training.
It also showed that 70% of those employers that do not provide additional training or development do not recognise the risk of not investing in the training or development of staff.
The Welsh Government’s Age of Investment campaign highlights the value of investing in skills, as well as encourages and advises businesses about how to address the challenges posed by an ageing working population.
Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said that continually investing in skills throughout people’s working lives is key, not only to help them progress through their own careers, but also to ensure economic and business sustainability.
“It appears from this latest research that while SMEs in Wales clearly recognise the importance of skills development, a number of employers need some encouragement to take the all-important next step of investing in training that will benefit their employees and broaden their skills base,” James said in a statement.
“Skills support in Wales is changing. With the uncertainty surrounding European funding and future access to skilled labour from elsewhere in the EU, employer input and investment has never been so important to ensure the best results for Wales, its people, businesses and the wider economy.”